Building livelihoods, strengthening resilience in Burkina Faso
Published on 20 June 2014

Resilience activities help farmers to improve their yield and to have new sources of income. Due to lack of funding, WFP-Burkina  may have to suspend the "food for work" activities.

WFP is carrying out a number of activities to support rural populations in Burkina Faso and strengthen their resilience to shock. A lack of funding, however, threatens the continuation of these programmes.


In Burkina Faso, WFP is working to strengthen the resilience of the poorest communities by reducing their vulnerability to shocks such as drought, recurrent floods and high food prices. From water conservation projects to agricultural training, these efforts are helping communities across the country escape crisis and sustain themselves in the aftermath of shocks.

Asset-creation activities are being implemented in six of Burkina’s 13 regions—including Sahel, North, East, Central West, North Central and Central East. Projects include the creation of stone bunds, half moons, structures and techniques that help retain water and protect crops from erosion.

Jean-Charles Dei, WFP Representative in Burkina Faso, emphasizes the dual impact of these cash transfer activities. “In addition to the immediate results of these projects, including increased agricultural production and improved living conditions, activities help to strengthen the resilience of targeted communities.”

Seydou Ramde, a facilitator for WFP’s partner “Organisation Evangelique pour le Developpement” in the Sanguie province of Burkina’s Central West region, highlighted the importance and efficacy of these projects. “Vegetable production is possible even with only a little water. We encourage WFP to support these kinds of activities because here—as well as elsewhere—there is limited groundwater. We expect to reduce unemployment in the targeted rural areas during the dry season (October to April).”

WFP’s Purchase for Progress initiative is also increasing productivity by strengthening the production and marketing capacity of smallholder farmers. Support from WFP and its partners has allowed smallholders to sell their surplus to WFP for distribution to vulnerable people. The participants also gain access to credit as well as inputs and agricultural tools.

Between 2009 and 2013, WFP has purchased 4,580 mt of cereals from smallholder farmers—including 72 percent women—for a total of US$ 1.65 million (825 million F CFA). 85,000 farmers (56 percent women) have also benefited from training in agricultural techniques, quality, storage,  farm management and gender.

Cash-for-Assets activities are carried out in collaboration with the government and thanks to generous donations from Italy, United Kindom, Finland and USAID


To continue these activities, WFP needs a total of US$ 26.5 million. Due to a lack of funds, these interventions may not resume after the rainy season in September, compromising the success of the initiative and potentially losing progress already made. Burkina Faso faces a difficult lean season this year, as households in several regions have already depleted their food stocks.

WFP Offices
About the author

Celestine Ouedraogo

Programme Assistant

Celestine Ouedraogo is the Senior Programme Assistant at WFP Burkina Faso. She is based in Ouagadougou.